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The Christmas Tractor (part 10)

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Having this very unusual tractor, I had to find out more about the history of these little garden machines.  At the first show, the guys were telling what they thought was accurate history, and I must have heard 20 versions.  In reality as it turns out, none were 100% correct, not even what I thought was correct.  All I had to go on was the name Elmer Pond. Thanks to the new Internet, I started looking up this name in the South Bend, Indana area.  Nothing.  I searched and searched and searched. Still nothing. I was just about to give up and I decided to just call anyone with the name Pond. I eventually contacted a Mr. Gary Pond. He told me how Elmer Pond was his grandfather and was indeed involved with Wheel Horse tractors. He went on to tell me that his dad was the man responsible for Wheel Horse and yes, he was indeed very alive.  I couldn't believe that my first really good lead would bring me right to the man himself.  I called the number I was given and Mrs Pond told me that her husband Cecil was not feeling well and could not come to he phone. She told me to call back in two weeks. I think I counted every second for the two weeks. I made the call once again. I did indeed get to talk to Cecil Pond and he loved my idea.  He told me that he always thought that the history should be documented with accuracy. He then told me that the he and Betty were going on a Mediterranean cruise for two weeks.  I vividly remember my thoughts. First of all I thought, this person is wealthy and secondly I thought that I had to wait another two weeks.

 

Well, I went ahead and purchased my airline ticket. I was to fly from Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut to Palm Beach International Airport early on a Friday morning.  Now, I have never traveled alone before, and this was exciting. As my flight landed in West Palm Beach, I picked up my rental car; a Pontiac Alora, and headed north to Palm City.  Passing orange groves and fruit farms, I remember thinking that it was only 12 degrees back in Connecticut as it was Martin Luther King weekend in January.  Finally, I approached the sign for Piper's Landing and when I pulled up to the guard house, a well appointed man in uniform, told me that Mr. Pond was expecting me.  Now my mind was simply racing. This was so exciting!  As I disembarked the Alora, my heart was pounding. As I approached the front door wearing a jacket and tie, I could tell this was not going to be the average day!   The door opened before my knuckles kit the wood.  "Hello Mike, I'm Cecil Pond" .

 

Tune in next time for more exciting information in part 11.

 

Merry Christmas,

Michael Martino

Edited by Rideawayjunior1
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I wouldn't say all were incorrect, particularly in light of the fact that Cecil had called Dan Messinger before the first show in 1999 in response to a letter Dustin Messinger had sent him. Additionally I invited Ed Cole to the first show and he was gratuitous enough to attend. As a long time employee of WH he was certainly knowledgable.

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The information is fantastic, one thing that seems certain the time was right to get Wheel Horse history together.

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